After completing his military service, aimless young Danila (Bodrov) heads to St. Petersburg seeking out his older brother, Viktor (Sukhorukov), a hit man for the mob who wants to farm out a job. On his first assignment, Danila shows a knack for dirty work when he assassinates a Chechen mobster in a public market, then escapes on the back of a garbage tram driven by Svetlana (Pismichenko). But in this milieu, such a brash act won't go unanswered...
Balabanov draws a bead on the New Russia in this grimy urban thriller about a haughty ex-soldier who seems preternaturally gifted for a life of violent crime. Danila, coolly played by the cherub-faced Bodrov, is a ruthless killer who symbolizes the heady mix of national pride and Western decadence in the post-Soviet era, indulging himself in clothes, sex, and rock and roll. Think of it like a dark, Slavic twist on "Mean Streets."